As a fan of the game franchise and the first film “Silent Hill” (2006, starring Radha Mitchell), it’s difficult to pinpoint the exact moment when “Silent Hill: Revelation” goes totally, completely wrong. Like a long term relationship gone to fester, there are so many rotten little things going on in this film that you’re neither drawn into the story nor completely put off by it either. Somehow, you’re stuck outside of it, like you’re watching a car accident in slow-motion.
Forget the ambiance and terrifyingly foreboding atmosphere of the first “Silent Hill” film. Forget also the psychological terror inflicted on the audience at the behest of the relentlessly sounding sirens as darkness fell on the town of Silent Hill. The macabre visions of demons, demented nurses, even the unlikely hero that is Pyramid Head, fail to illicit anything but giggles from the audience during the screening I attend.
The genius of Christophe Gans and Dan Laustsen (director and cinematographer, respectively, “Silent Hill”) has been replaced by the depressingly pedestrian vision of writer/director Michael J. Bassett. Recognize that name? No. That’s not a surprise. Bassett, a relative newcomer, manages to ignore or misuse all of the unique, baked-in tools in the massive tool chest that is the “Silent Hill” franchise.
With a cast that features Sean Bean, Carrie-Anne Moss, Malcom McDowell, Kit Harington (perhaps best known for his work on “Game of Thrones”), “Silent Hill: Revelation” stars Adelaide Clemens as the almost-18-year-old Sharon. The Australian actress brings an innocence to the character who is meant to represent all that is good in Alessa.
The film takes too long to set up the major plot points, relying heavily (and lazily) on startle-tactics while ignoring all of the terror-inducing-atmosphere of it’s predecessor. I sprung the extra money to catch the film in Real 3D but would encourage viewers to skip it. If you must see the film in the theater, either because you are a die-hard fan or because it’s date night and you want to see a “scary” film, you won’t miss much by seeing the film in traditional 2D. The 3D medium, which may have proven to be an excellent medium to take viewers into a place like “Silent Hill”, ends up being one more missed opportunity in a film that fails to take any chances.
Cameos by Radha Mitchell and Deborah Kara Unger only serve to further my conviction that “Silent Hill: Revelation” falls short on what coulda/woulda/shoulda been a fantastic sequel. Also, if anything, “Silent Hill: Revelation” made me realize Malcolm McDowell, featured in the pivotal role of Leonard Wolf, should be acting more. One look at his upcoming projects for 2013 confirms that I’m not alone in that opinion.
Official site: Silent Hill: Revelation
Watch the trailer: Silent Hill: Revelation HD trailer